The Benefits And Side Effects Of Delay Creams & Sprays

photo of four different over the counter delay sprays

Delay creams and sprays are a temporary solution to premature ejaculation that are easy to use, take action quickly (usually), and can be used discreetly if needed.

They can be especially useful if your problem is caused by physical sensitivity rather than factors like anxiety or a medical condition.

In this article, you’ll find out more about the pros and cons of using a delay cream or spray, which will hopefully help you decide if it’s the right option for you or not.

And if you’ve already decided you want to try one, you might like to see my latest delay spray recommendations.

The benefits

1. An easy option which requires minimal effort

Using a delay spray is one of the quickest and easiest approaches to dealing with premature ejaculation. All you need to do is apply it before you have sex, wait a few minutes before washing it off, and you’re good to go.

2. Use on demand

A delay spray only needs to be applied each time you have sex. So if you don’t have sex often, you don’t need to worry about continually taking medication just in case. This is in stark contrast to some other treatments such as anti-depressants, which would need to be taken every day.

3. The ingredients are relatively safe if used correctly

The ingredient most often used is lidocaine, and to a lesser extent benzocaine or prilocaine. These are all topical anesthetics that are thought to be safe for most people. Promescent, Fortacin, Super Dragon 6000, Dynamo, Stud 100 and K-Y Duration, for example, all use lidocaine.

Some people may have adverse reactions to a topical anesthetic, but most people tolerate the ingredients well. Having said that, it’s quite common to experience a tingling or hot sensation when you apply it to your penis.

4. Available without a prescription

Most delay sprays and creams can be bought over the counter or ordered online, without the need for a prescription. So if you’re not keen on talking to your doctor about it, this is a discreet self-help option that can avoid any potential embarrassment.

5. The numbing is usually effective

The most important question is of course whether it actually works or not. And in my experience, they usually do the numbing job very effectively.

However, the numbing action is sometimes a little too strong and causes other problems, as you’ll see in the next section.

Possible issues and side effects

1. Loss of erection

One of the common side effects of delay products is too much numbing. If the spray is too strong, or you put too much on, you may end up with reduced sensation.

This can sometimes also result in difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. You then have to wash off what you can, and wait for the anesthetic to wear off before trying again.

This obviously isn’t an ideal situation in the throes of passion!

2. Loss of pleasure

Another common problem with desensitizing is that you effectively have a trade-off. You might last longer during sex, but you might enjoy the sensation less.

It could be argued that you have less pleasure, but have it for longer so it’s a good trade. And you also get pleasure in knowing that you’re satisfying your partner, which is of course very important.

3. Transference to your partner

Any numbing spray has the potential to cause some problems for your partner if it transfers to them, either through penetrative sex or oral.

So it’s important to follow the instructions carefully (If you bought one that doesn’t have clear instructions, take a look at my article about using delay sprays).

Transference can still happen in some situations, such as getting the timing wrong or not washing it off properly.

In my experience, the best way to avoid this risk is to apply the spray or cream, wait a minute or two for it to absorb, then have a wash or shower. It might mean you get less numbing if you wash too soon or too much, but I find it works well to do this.

4. Having to apply it before having sex

Depending on your personal situation, the act of applying the spray or cream can be an issue.

If you’re in a relationship, or with an understanding person, it’s probably not so much of an issue – especially if you know exactly when you’re going to have sex.

But if you’re with a new partner, or it’s spontaneous sex, it can be a bit of a passion killer to pop into the bathroom to apply it and then wait to wash it off.

My advice is to just be upfront about it and make the most of that time to focus on giving your partner some amazing foreplay. Hopefully, they’ll be too busy being pleasured to make you feel awkward about the spray.

5. Not a cure

Desensitizing products don’t cure premature ejaculation, so if you choose to use them on an ongoing basis, you’ll have to keep buying them.

You might feel that it’s worth the cost. And even if you don’t have all the money in the world, the chances are you’ll still find enough for the upkeep of your sex life. But at the end of the day, the cost will add up if you have an active life between the sheets.


As you can see, there are good reasons for and against using a desensitizing product. The main positives are that they are easy to get, work quickly and you don’t have to put any effort into learning ejaculation control.

The main problems are that it’s not a cure and it can cause a loss of pleasure and erection strength.

My advice is that if you need something to help right now, it’s worth trying one to see if it suits you. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully and don’t skip the part where you wash it off before sex.


    • Hi there
      It depends on the spray. Personally, I usually spray, rub it in, wait a minute or two and then wash. Then wait the rest of the time until it’s supposed to take full effect.

  1. Hi Ethan, I used edge delay gel for fun only once on this Monday, I think I applied a bit much but look like my erection is gone for last two days, I still have sensation & orgasms but no erection. Should I just wait for gel effect to go off or see a doctor?

    • Hi Kk
      Sorry to hear this has happened. I think it’s a personal choice – you could wait another day or two, or see your doctor now if you’re worried. Can I ask though – how are you having orgasms if you don’t have an erection?

      • Hi Ethan , Thanks for your reply, what I meant was with orgasm that I still have the sensation , there was no erection but managed to get some through mastuburation . Look like gel effect is gone was bit scared though .

        • Hi again
          No problem! I see, well as long as the effect had worn off, that’s all that matters! I know it can be a bit worrying when this kind of thing happens.

  2. Hi Ethan

    I want guidance on below 2 questions.

    1) I am using climax delay spray, can it cause me hormonal imbalance or can the use of climax delay spray affect my fertility?

    2) I am giving oral to my partner after applying climax delay spray, but before that I washed my penis correctly. But if accidentally it transfers in my partner’s mouth or in vagina while oral and intercourse then what are the possible side effects? Can it affect her fertility?

    Pls guide

    • Hi Harshad
      Honestly, I don’t know the answer to these questions. I’ve never seen serious warnings about delay sprays and hormones or fertility. However, I do know that some of the more serious manufacturers make it clear that it’s best not to use them if you’re trying to get your partner pregnant.

  3. Hi, i have been using tiger delay spray for about 8 yrs now, but recently it doesn’t work for me both in small or plenty of quantity. I totally lose my erection when I use it. I am afraid my penis is becoming “dead”

    • Hi B.B.
      Have you ever had a good time off without using it to see if the erection improves? Maybe if you stop using it for a few weeks, you’ll see if it gets better.

  4. hi…kindly tell me how to use stud 100 or promescent….in detail….is it necessary to wash it before intercourse….and how much sprays use each time…thank u…

  5. Hi there, I used jamaican black stone and 1st time I lost my erection – it went totally dead and my performance time was embarrassing. Is this because I numbed it too much?

    • Hi there
      It’s impossible to say if it’s because you numbed it too much, or because it just doesn’t work well for you (or both!). If you do decide to try it again, I would recommend using a smaller dose. But I’d also consider other options.

    • Hi Matthew
      Most companies make sprays – there are very few creams. Sprays are much easier to get the same dosage each time. It’s ok to use them with unprotected sex as long as you wash/wipe first. And avoid them if you are trying for a baby.

    • Hi Auwal
      For you personally, probably not very much. The issue is for your partner. If you have oral or unprotected sex, then they can get numb in places they don’t want to be numb.

    • Than your partner would also get influenced and her pleasure would go off, for which u were using the cream, that thing is being killed by the same cream before hand. She would get numb too and wont feel any pleasure if u didnt washed it before penetrating her without a condom. So total loss.

  6. After applying the spray on your dick head do you have to wash it off immediately or you have to wait for the appropriate time given to you before you’ll wash it

    and after that can your girlfriend give you a blow job

    • Hi Nathan
      You can do either really. I personally think it’s best to quickly wipe if there’s way too much and it’s not absorbing properly. Then wait and wipe or wash more thoroughly when they time has lapsed.
      Oral sex depends on the particular spray, but it’s fine for most of them as long as there is none left on the surface of the skin.

    • Hi Joe
      The general advice is not to use the spray if she is pregnant because they don’t know the safety of it. But I think it’s ok if you use a latex condom on top of the spray once you have washed after applying it.

  7. If I use a dragon spray and I don’t wash my dick before sexual intercourse, would that prevent pregnancy?

    • Hi Faiza
      Nobody really knows if it will affect the pregnancy or your fertility. They say don’t use it because they still just don’t know the risks, not because they are sure it will cause any problems.

  8. Hi!

    If I want to use condom, where should I put the cream or spray? on the condom? or before putting the condom?


  9. Hello…
    My 31 years old boyfriend has been using the dragon spray very often for almost 11 years now …and lately, he’s having an erection problem.
    His erections for the past three months have been on and off, but for a week now he cant even get hard no matter what we do? Please can you help….

    • Hi Eunice
      Sorry to hear that. It’s impossible for me to say whether the spray had a role to play, or if it’s purely coincidental. I would suggest stopping using the spray for a month to see if it naturally gets better. But I’d also suggest doing good research into erectile dysfunction and trying some techniques known to help with that.
      All the best

  10. I used dragon delay spray without washing and my partner has since complained of a headache. could this feeling result from the spray?

    • Hi
      I guess it’s possible, but very unusual. It should clear up naturally. If they are still unwell when you read this reply, they should speak to a doctor.

  11. pl let me know, after applying (delay) gel (glide ), should I wash my penis, before starting intercourse

  12. Hello,
    I tried stud 5000 before intercourse. And i washed it and i stared doing. However, it does not work.
    Again after 1 hour i sprayed and followed the same. But i lost my feeling. And my penis started swelling. Is there any issue with my penis? Or am i affected with any side effect? Should i consult a docter?
    Please advise. I am.scared.

    • Hi Ganesh
      Hopefully, you were fine once they effect wore off. But if it’s still an issue when you read this reply, I would speak to your doctor.

    • Hi Joie
      I don’t know to be honest! I’ve tried them together and not had a problem. But you might want to double check with the company that makes them.

  13. Hello, my boyfriend used a delay cream with a condom but he removed the condom at one point. Since then I have been experiencing constant burning and irritation. That was two months ago. I have been to the gynaecologist and have been treated for yeast and dermatitis. I’ve been through three rounds of different treatments (tablets and creams ) but it’s not going away. Have you ever heard of this happening after being in contact with a delay cream?

    • Hi
      Sorry to hear you’ve been through this. I haven’t heard of this happening before, no. Do you remember which spray it was, or what the ingredients were?
      I hope you improve soon.

      • Hello, i am a guy new to anal sex. Looking to use butt plugs and a dildo. But i heard if i use the desensitized lube, i wont know its harmful effects until later on. Because it can tear up internal lining without i noticing it. What is your suggestion ? Thx

        • Hi Jeff
          That’s definitely a possible concern, but not what the sprays here are intended for. They are meant for the penis, not internal use. The desensitizing lube is a different product altogether. Perhaps you might be better doing slow, gentle exploration first using plenty of normal lube to minimize the risk if it’s a concern for you?

  14. there are many condoms available for delaying the ejaculation for example kohinoor extra time condom and durex perfoma. are these condoms safe for use or do they have any side effects.

    • Hi Mohd
      Well, usually they are safe. Some men will have a reaction to lidocaine or benzocaine, and they can cause erection problems as I said in the article. But on the whole, they are ok.

  15. Hey . Can u please tell me if i will apply the spray so does it effect on pregnancy , means getting low or no chance of pregnancy after applying the delay spray or does it creat some harmful effect on FSH, LH or PROLACTIN etc… ir any other effects witness on semen analysis.

    • Hi Talha
      Nobody really knows the potential effects if you’re trying to get pregnant, or already pregnant. So that’s why the manufacturers say don’t use the spray.

    • Hi Babu
      I don’t know to be honest! I haven’t seen anything written to warn about this particular situation. I know that topical anesthetics are sometimes used/tested for pain with diabetes and neuropathy. Beyond that, I don’t know if there are any risks here.

  16. I’m 40 and I cum very fast – even during forplay. I can’t control . Pls advise. My gf is also very upset.

    • Hi Harry
      The best advice really is to take a good look around this site, as I’ve written dozens of articles about premature ejaculation. There’s lots to know about it, so I can’t re-write it all in a comment I’m afraid. But if you read around, especially the main pages, you’ll find lots of helpful tips.

  17. I am 59 years old.The only problem I have is erection. I do not use creams or sprays. I want an answer to solve this problem

  18. If using this type of spray might there any problems for men Who want to be a father? (any problems for reproduction)

    • Hi Sharath
      The general advice is not to use them if you are trying to get your partner pregnant. Doctors don’t know what the effect might be on a child if the spray is used, so to be safe they say don’t use it.

  19. I have my medicals for my job where I have to give my urine test is it fine to apply on the day before my test ???

    • Hi
      I don’t know of any reason why not, unless the one you use has some illegal substances. But most lidocaine and benzocaine sprays have nothing to do with cocaine, if that’s your worry.

    • Hi Nanox
      Yes, but personally I don’t think it’s a good idea to use them unless having sex. They are chemicals at the end of the day, so the less you use them, the better.

        • Either use less next time, or don’t put it on until you already have an erection. But if it’s a constant problem, try a different product, or maybe not at all if it’s a serious issue every time.

      • Hi there
        My name is Mohamed I’m using promescent last year. It’s really working. I’m washing it 3 times with soap. after 20 minutes of apply, having sex with my partner, does it effect my sperm? We trying for baby.

        • Hi Mohamed
          I believe the company suggests not using it if you are trying to have a baby.

  20. Question if I wash my penis off with soap and water after waiting 15 from when my duration is applied, can I use a condom?

  21. Please must let me know i’m very anxious, and keen to know what are the side effects for women when a man use the dragon spray for sex?

    • Hi Raja
      There shouldn’t be side effects if you wash yourself well before having sex. But to be totally sure, use a condom and don’t have oral sex. That will almost eliminate the risk of her having any numbing.

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